Special Occasions

Top 5 Red, White & Blue Desserts

Ready for fireworks? I’m not talking Roman candles, either—I’m talking the oohs and ahhs that will commence when you set down a tray of brightly colored goodies in front of your July 4th guests. And honestly, who can blame them? Desserts too often hide in shades of brown and white (not that I’m knockin’ chocolate, mind you…). But just in time for Independence Day, treats take a turn toward the bright and beautiful—a trend spurred on by the abundance of ripe red and blue berries. So in honor of our nation’s birthday, here are a few of my favorite patriotic treats, including berry-topped mini cheesecakes, a stunning ice cream cake and that grand ol’ showstopper, an American flag cake.

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Upstage the Big Game with Five Easy Recipes

There’s a lot of attention on the action on the field these days—but if I’m honest, I’m more interested in the action in the kitchen. And trust me, the pride and preparation that goes into planning an awesome game-day spread can be every bit as intense as anything that’s happening in the game. When everyone’s focus is on the play-by-play and the funny commercials, I want my meatballs and slow-cooker rib sandwiches to be so incredible that guests break out of their football trance to say, “Hey, these are amazing. You made them?”

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Valentine’s Day: It’s Better at Home

If I were asked to choose between venturing out to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day or heading to the dentist for a root canal, I might need to flip a coin. (OK, not really—but you know what I mean.) Some people love that special-occasion excursion, and more power to them—it’s just not my thing. The idea of fighting crowds of couples for space in a swanky restaurant, just to blow the budget on a four-course meal (that wasn’t that awesome, anyway) is, frankly, unappealing. Especially when I can make something so much better at home.

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The Easiest Last-Minute New Year’s Party Menu

Growing up, my older siblings had one movie they loved watching over and over again—a movie they knew terrified me. Pretending to be as unfazed as they were, I’d sit and watch it with them. Wedged between sofa cushions, one eye on the screen and one tightly shut for protection from the inevitable, we’d await the terrifying surprise twist we all knew was coming. Each time we watched the film, I’d let out a scream, much to the delight of my brothers and sisters, who’d then taunt me for hours.

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